The reasons and essential steps for conducting your website’s content audit

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Good and appealing website content is the basic prerequisite for the high search engine ranking. It can boost brand awareness, engage your followers, and drive sales and conversions. But content creation can also ruin your marketing efforts in case you don’t do it properly. Today, almost 90% of B2B marketers say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers.

To avoid this problem, you must approach content creation studiously and understand what makes it poor or efficient. You should start from your own webpage and analyze every little piece of content that you ever published. In this article, we will show you both the reasons and essential steps for conducting the website’s content audit.

Reasons for conducting content audit on the site

Webpage content audit can help you to determine a lot of valuable information about your digital marketing strategy. There are dozens of reasons to carry out this project but we will explain to you 6 most important objectives.

  • Detect problems and flaws

The first reason to conduct the content audit is to find technical shortcomings on your website. Through this process, you are going to fix broken links and upgrade the overall webpage performance. Following the audit, users won’t be seeing those annoying ‘error 404 – page not found’ messages anymore. Instead, they will enjoy the content just as they are supposed to.

  • Improve SEO authority

Search engine ranking depends both on the content quality and the optimization. As you go through your old posts, you will determine if there is potential to adjust keyword mechanisms and improve their SEO authority, consequently. If a page doesn’t rank high in searches, perhaps you should focus on more relevant keywords, redo titles, descriptions, and headline tags, or include longtail keywords. Each one of these details can play a decisive role in the optimization process.

  • Reanimate old posts

In the constant search for new and fresh content, website owners sometimes forget that they already published some evergreen posts. Such content can be used once again in a slightly different form. For instance, you can publish quotable old post sentences on your social media accounts to reignite user interest. But you can also do more:

  • Make a slideshow with the most important details from old posts.
  • Find a new angle to make the article rewrite and add up to date niche information.
  • Summarize it in the form of table or infographic.

According to Content Marketing Institute, around 50% of marketers consider repurposing content one of top 5 priorities. Conducting the content audit, you will get the opportunity to do the same thing.

  • Analyze content quality

It’s hard to expect that you’ll always be creating high-quality website content. Sometimes you won’t be able to prepare well for writing an article and some other time you won’t have enough time to do it right. But as you analyze each post one by one, you get a new chance to revise content, add important details, or delete unnecessary paragraphs. Google is very strict when it comes to short and irrelevant content, so you should do your best to identify and improve content which needs adjustments.

  • Detect content gaps

As you continue, you will probably detect a number of content gaps that should be eliminated. For instance, you will often learn that you failed to cover the latest industry developments through your articles. There is also a chance that you never really dedicated enough time to the certain aspect of your business or didn’t mention a set of products or services that have the potential to bring you more profit. In each of these cases, the content audit provides you with valuable data and gives you inspiration for the new website topics.

  • Improve content design

Webpage content is not only about the text you write but also about the way you structure it and images you add to support your statements. In case you forgot to break a post into shorter paragraphs or you used long and complicated sentences, here is your chance to make improvements.

Besides that, a study revealed that articles which contain a few images deserve twice as many social media shares than those without visuals. It’s a growing trend and you can use it to improve the relevance of website content replacing obsolete visuals or adding more images to the post.

Actionable steps to carry out website content audit

Now that you’ve seen the basic goals of website content audit, it’s time to explain concrete actions which can help you in that regard. It’s a time-consuming experience and you need to be very patient and precise – but there are still some ways to cut the long story short.

If you want to analyze website content, you should cover all features relevant to your business. That way, you will narrow down the search and it won’t take you months to complete it. When we decided to go for the content audit, I didn’t concentrate on the most important aspects of our content and I tried to cover it all 100%. But soon enough I realized that I should have focused on what’s really important,” shared her opinion Alicia Adams, a content manager at EssayOnTime.

However, there is no universal formula to show you the essentials of your website content. This is something that you should figure out on your own, while our job is to point out the content audit phases which preoccupy all entrepreneurs and marketers. Let’s check them out here.

  • Create an inventory

The first phase of the content audit is creating a comprehensive inventory of all indexed pages. You can do it manually but we strongly suggest you not to, unless you have a website with no more than a few dozens of pages. But since you probably own a more complex webpage, you can utilize online tools such as Screaming Frog.

It’s a website crawler that goes through all links to create inventories, find broken links or duplicate content, analyze page titles and meta data, etc. It will enable you to transfer all URLs to Excel spreadsheet and continue with website content audit.  

  • Choose relevant metrics

As previously discussed, the metrics you choose depend on your own preferences and marketing objectives. You can split it into various categories and add it to separate columns in your spreadsheet. As for the content, you can analyze all sorts of elements:

  • Content type: It could be an article, infographic, video content, etc).
  • Quality: Do you think this post is poorly designed or well-written?
  • Content author: You will often learn that some authors perform much better than others.
  • Topics: Divide these into industry-specific themes.
  • Word count/length: Does your audience like longer or average-length posts?
  • Number of social media shares: This is important if your aim is to increase brand awareness.
  • Number of comments: A relevant indicator of user engagement.
  • Average time on page: It will show you how relevant your content actually is.
  • Conversion score: Measure the effect of your content.

You can choose many more metrics depending on your strategy and what you consider to be the biggest indicator of content marketing success. Simply add these metrics to Excel columns (B, C, D, E, F…) next to the inventory of your URLs and you are ready to move on with the audit.

  • Fill in and analyze

After you’ve detected the relevant indicators, you should fill in each cell in those columns. For instance, you will do it like this:

  • Content type: Blog
  • Quality: Good
  • Author: John Doe
  • Topic: Instagram
  • Word count: 1,563
  • Number of social media shares: 243
  • Number of comments: 42
  • Average time on page: 6’15’’
  • Conversion score: 1.02%  

When you add all data for all of your URLs, you will probably be able to make some general conclusions. The analysis can show you that blog posts with video included receive more social media shares. Or you will find out that articles related to the specific category of products inspire the biggest user engagement, so you should focus on this type of content more frequently.

  • Make your move

Website content audit will give you excellent directions for the future work but it primarily serves to determine actions concerning your existing content. That’s why you will add one more column to the spreadsheet and name it ACTION or ACTIVITY. In this column, you will write down what has to be done about each one of your indexed content units. For example, you can leave it as it is, or make an update or upgrade, or simply delete the page. In each case, the final goal is to improve your content and increase the odds of leaving a good impression on both your followers and search engines.

Content creation is the most important element of contemporary marketing. This is the reason why you have to take care of the website content and analyze it regularly to avoid any mistakes or shortcomings. In this article, we explained to you why and how to conduct a successful webpage content audit. Don’t hesitate to use our instructions and let us know in comments if you need additional explanations about any one of these steps.


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About the Author

Sophia Anderson
Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a professional content writer who is keen on exploring new trends in content marketing and trying them out in practice. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and personal development. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter.
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6 years ago

Wow, This a very thorough article. Really like the point about Choosing relevant metrics. Choosing the correct metrics is really important, it can change your direction completely. Nice post. Cheers.Keep Writing.

-Shivangi, RankWatch

Eleanor Kent
Eleanor Kent
6 years ago

Yes, I agree with you Sophia! Appealing website content is the key for high search engine ranking. However, content gaps should be addressed as well as cover all features relevant to your business. I appreciate your point on choosing relevant metrics, it’s really helpful! Thanks for this intensive guide!

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